Recipe: Grammy’s Braised Brisket

The following recipe comes from the cookbook inspired by the saucy new musical “A Taste of Things to Come,” playing at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago from March 20 to April 29.

The show is a fabulously fun romp tracing the changing lives of four best friends in Winnetka, Illinois, who meet once a week for a Betty Crocker cooking contest — from the 1950s to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. This homage to prior generations of women who blazed new trails features a rollicking original score of ‘50s and ‘60s music with great harmonies, all backed by an all-female rock n’ roll band.

Tickets are available now at

Grammy’s Braised Brisket

Serves 4-6

Broadway in Chicago: brisket recipe

In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as pot roast, especially as a holiday main course on Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and Sabbath. Brisket is also the most popular cut for corned beef, which can be further spiced and smoked to make pastrami.

This slow-cooked beef recipe was a staple of our family dinners. A secret recipe passed down from generation to generation that turned out to be not-so-secret. We all had a big laugh when our grandmother revealed her special tricks to this memorable dish — including using Lipton Onion Soup Mix with 1 quart of water instead of chicken stock. In our kitchens, we make everything from scratch. —Adam Levin


  • 4 to 5 pounds beef brisket
  • 2 cups white onion, large dice
  • 1 cup carrots, large dice
  • 1 cup celery, large dice
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 3 to 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 quart of chicken stock


1. In a large cooking pot, first place all of the chopped vegetables at the bottom to form a base. Add the brisket on top.

2. Add the wine, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for around 2 1/2 to 3 hours, carefully watching that the liquid does not run dry.

3. After the brisket is done, let cool down for another 3 to 4 hours in liquid. The longer the brisket sits, the easier it is to achieve a supremely tender and moist piece of meat.

4. Remove the thyme twigs and blend the remaining liquid and vegetables until smooth.

5. Cut the meat across the grain and serve with the sauce on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish.

NOTES: An alternative method to achieving a great brisket is to put everything into a roasting pan and bake it. Cover the pan with foil, and put it in a 350 degree oven for at least 3 hours.